I bought and planted some hollyhocks this year and they bloomed beautifully. Will they come back next year?
Answer: Hollyhocks (Alcea) are considered short-lived perennials or biennials. Your plants may return and bloom next year. You will also likely find some new seedlings sprouting in the area, because hollyhocks easily self-seed, making up for their relatively short perennial lifespan. These new seedlings may bloom next year or the following year if the species you’re growing is biennial.
Hollyhocks are susceptible to hollyhock rust and other foliar problems. Removing the current year’s plants after the seed has dropped helps reduce the spread of these diseases in the following year. You will end up with fresh seedlings from the dropped seed, without the disease being carried over the winter by decaying foliage.